From the hat worn by Jack Spar­row in “Pi­rates of the Caribbean” to the ar­mor in “Gla­di­a­tor”, the of­fi­cial name of the Ital­ian ex­cel­lence in Hol­ly­wood film pro­duc­tion is The Maestri. All you need to know about this lead­ing Ital­ian com­pany that brings the m

All About Italy (USA) - - Editorial - Yle­nia Leone

Ev­ery­one dreams about Hol­ly­wood. We grow up with Au­drey Hep­burn’s gang sway­ing to the notes of “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly”, with Rus­sell Crowe “hav­ing his vengeance in this life or the next”, fas­ci­nated by bril­liant smiles, dra­matic in­ter­pre­ta­tions and touch­ing mono­logues. But would we have loved the same Max­imus Dec­imus Merid­ius, “the Gla­di­a­tor”, if he had been dressed in the or­a­tor’s lit­tle tu­nic? Would Willem Dafoe be cred­i­ble in Last Temp­ta­tion of Christ with a crew cut? An­swer: No.

We love movies that are per­fect, that en­velop us in their cred­i­bil­ity, per­haps not al­ways his­tor­i­cally ac­cu­rate, but just enough. They make us dream big, and dream beau­ti­fully.

And th­ese dreams have only one name: The Maestri. The Maestri is a Lon­don-based com­pany that of­fers the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket what it can best pro­duce in Italy: a col­lec­tor of won­ders that com­bines un­der one um­brella all the crafts that give life to the cin­ema of dreams: cos­tumes and jew­elry, hats, wigs and props, for cin­ema, tele­vi­sion and the­ater.

Need­less to say, The Maestri is among the best: all the com­pa­nies rep­re­sented have a sto­ried and award-win­ning his­tory (with no few Os­car win­ners among them). But why does Hol­ly­wood love Italy? Be­cause Made in Italy guar­an­tees high qual­ity, orig­i­nal­ity and crafts­man­ship, as shown by the many iconic ob­jects since en­tered into the col­lec­tive imag­i­na­tion, which we find in cin­e­matic or the­atri­cal pro­duc­tions such as Jack Spar­row’s hat or Rose’s in “Ti­tanic” or the jew­elry of the Young Pope and the ar­mor in “Gla­di­a­tor”.

So, let’s get to know more about the pro­duc­ers of th­ese mas­ter­pieces that are An­namode cos­tumes, Lab­o­ra­to­rio Pieroni, Jewel House, Roc­chetti Wigs, Cos­tumi d’arte and E.ran­cati.

An­namode cos­tumes, for ex­am­ple, is the com­pany

founded by the Al­le­gri sis­ters, rec­og­nized by show busi­ness pro­fes­sion­als as one of the most im­por­tant cos­tume de­sign­ers in cin­ema and the­ater. Its spe­cialty is its her­itage col­lec­tion of au­then­tic clothes from the mid 1700s to the 1980s. Since 1950 An­namode has been in­volved in the pro­duc­tion of far too many films to name. Among the best-loved are De Sica’s “Mar­riage Ital­ian Style”, Benigni’s “The Lit­tle Devil”, “Marie An­toinette” by Sofia Cop­pola, “Anna Karen­ina” by Joe Wright and the TV se­ries “The Young Pope”, dress­ing ac­tresses of the cal­iber of Liza Minelli and Scar­lett Jo­hans­son.

Not only vin­tage dresses, but also high-fash­ion pro­duc­tions and ad-hoc cin­e­matic events, such as the cos­tumes made for the launch party for 2017 pro­duc­tion “The Beauty & the Beast”, with Emma Wat­son as the en­chant­ing lead. Along­side pro­duc­tion is the foun­da­tion, cre­ated in 2010, which be­gins with the preser­va­tion and en­hance­ment of the her­itage col­lec­tion, ac­cu­mu­lated through­out the com­pany’s his­tory, to pro­mot­ing cul­tural ini­tia­tives and ac­tiv­i­ties con­ducive to fos­ter­ing knowl­edge around the world.

Its work is ar­tisi­nal but not an­tique. One of the most amaz­ing and, in­deed, prac­ti­cal as­pects, is E-cos­tumes, that is to say the whole col­lec­tion grouped into a huge cat­a­log ac­ces­si­ble on­line to any user with an in­ter­net con­nec­tion.

The story of the sec­ond cos­tume de­sign­ers rep­re­sented by The Maestri, Cos­tumi d’arte, is full of twists and turns. Ini­tially founded as a small an­tique shop and then trans­formed into a Art House, it fi­nally achieved greatness as a cos­tume de­signer and vin­tage col­lec­tor: the pro­duc­tions in which we saw its cos­tumes run from cin­e­matic mile­stones such as “Ben Hur”, “Quo

The skill of the ac­tors, di­rec­tors and screen­writ­ers com­bines with those who cre­ate the cos­tumes, wigs, and spe­cial makeup, with knowl­edge and tra­di­tion, in­ge­nu­ity and cre­ativ­ity.

Vadis” and “The Mar­quis of Grillo”, to mod­ern mas­ter­pieces such as “V for Vengeance”, “In­ter­view with the Vam­pire”, “The Pa­triot” and “Casanova”. So many stylists and de­sign­ers today con­trib­ute to mak­ing great and faith­ful pro­duc­tions re­al­ity, that they range from cin­ema to the­ater and from bal­let to opera. If we talk about head­wear, the ab­so­lute leader is Pieroni Lab­o­ra­tory, the largest Ital­ian hand­i­craft com­pany in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned for the pro­duc­tion

and rental of hats, head­dresses and head­wear for cin­ema, the­ater and tele­vi­sion.

Think of any cos­tume film made from 1940 to today: 90% of the hats you’ve seen worn by the lead is Made in Italy.

Tra­di­tion de­mands that the prod­ucts are made en­tirely by hand af­ter his­tor­i­cal re­search and faith­ful re­con­struc­tion, with­out ri­val for qual­ity, per­son­al­ity and beauty. Just think of the feath­ers worn by the three mus­ke­teers in “The Man in the Iron Mask”, the breast­plates in “Gla­di­a­tor” or “The Pas­sion of Christ”, the ex­otic head­wear of “The Last Em­peror” or the jew­eled head of Sa­tine in “Moulin Rouge!”.

Its ac­tiv­ity grew up around the for­ties, fu­el­ing the myth of Cinecittà, and thanks to fruit­ful col­lab­o­ra­tion with Hol­ly­wood, the fam­ily name of Pieroni man­aged to make its way in film and be­came a great com­pany rec­og­nized around the world, not least with the Os­car Award given to Colleen At­wood for the cos­tumes in “Fan­tas­tic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, specif­i­cally Pieroni creations.

So many ti­tles fea­ture Pieroni head­wear: “The Duchess” by Saul Dibb, “War & Peace”, “The Viceroys”, “The Il­lu­sion­ist”, “Malef­i­cent”, “Spec­tre”, “Ben Hur”, “The Young Pope”, and “Medici: Masters of Florence”, are just a few, a very few, of the great suc­cesses ac­com­pa­ny­ing this Ital­ian brand.

The ac­ces­sory of Pieroni head­wear is as es­sen­tial to the movie as film it­self, and in many cases it al­most be­comes its sym­bol, such as Kate Winslet’s huge hat in “Ti­tanic”. With­out doubt, the most strik­ing ex­am­ple is in “Pi­rates of the Caribbean”, where the fa­mous tri­corne worn by Johnny Depp be­came syn­ony­mous with the char­ac­ter of Jack Spar­row. Ac­cord­ing to Mas­simo Pieroni, the cre­ation of the hats for the pi­rate saga was the ex­pe­ri­ence that has given him most sat­is­fac­tion.

“For just the first film, we pre­pared 40 dif­fer­ent ver­sions of the tri­corne. Johnny Depp im­me­di­ately chose the one pre­ferred by cos­tume de­signer Penny Rose and my­self: a cowboy-mil­i­tary mix with a slovenly ap­pear­ance,” says the cre­ator.

That notwith­stand­ing, Johnny Depp and Keira Knight­ley are two ac­tors fond of Pieroni creations: in ad­di­tion to the fa­mous tri­corne worn in “Pi­rates of the Caribbean”, which has be­come an iconic item for the char­ac­ter of Jack Spar­row, we also re­mem­ber Willy Wonka’s el­e­gant hat in “Char­lie and the Choco­late Fac­tory”, and the col­or­ful one of Tim Bur­ton’s Mad Hat­ter in “Alice in Won­der­land”.


But cin­ema is not only clothes and hats: ev­ery woman knows that ac­ces­sories make a dif­fer­ence, in what­ever era. The story of Jewel House is a cu­ri­ous one. The largest jew­elry com­pany in the world has a col­lec­tion of cos­tume jew­elry of

A movie is a mish­mash of dreams, and the skill of ev­ery crafts­man helps cre­ate this ever-flour­ish­ing dream mar­ket be­cause dreams do not age

more than 20,000 pieces that runs across all ages, from the ar­chaic to the present day. It was cre­ated by Carlo Pog­gi­oli, an in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned cos­tume de­signer who, with the help of the old hand­i­craft com­pany L.A.B.A. founded by Nino Lembo in the 1960s, has re­stored the jew­elry, com­bin­ing his ex­pe­ri­ence and pas­sion for cos­tume jew­elry. Jewel House jewels have been used in a huge num­ber of movies and in­ter­na­tional TV se­ries, in­clud­ing: “Down­ton Abbey”, “The Bor­gias”, “The Tu­dors”, “Game of Thrones”, “Vik­ings”, and “The Vat­i­can”, di­rected by Ri­d­ley Scott.


The tools of E.ran­cati, cov­er­ing 150 years of his­tory, as well as jew­elry, in­clude ac­ces­sories, fur­ni­ture, and es­pe­cially weapons: weapons of ev­ery shape, age and size, from the are­nas of An­cient Rome to the green pas­tures of Scot­land. Do you re­mem­ber Radames’ sword in “Aida”, the hel­mets in “Ben Hur”, the breast­plates in “Game of Thrones” or the Thor’s hel­mets? They have slain en­e­mies and con­quered

pas­sions but, above all, they have won the bat­tle of time by re­main­ing in our mem­ory thanks to E.ran­cati’s his­toric ar­mory.

Noth­ing more than things of iron, wood, plas­tic and leather, cre­ated with the ge­nius of real “show masters” chal­lenge the fic­tion and trans­form it into re­al­ity. To bring the dream to life.


But the show must go on, and of­ten moder­nity ends up beat­ing the cy­cles of time, killing a vin­tage drama with one fine cut from today. Well, es­sen­tial to the hal­lowed list of The Maestri is the lead­ing Ital­ian com­pany in the pro­duc­tion, restora­tion and main­te­nance of wigs for the show. Roc­chetti Wigs of­fers a highly spe­cial­ized ser­vice in the pro­duc­tion of wigs, but also as makeup artists, es­pe­cially for the spe­cial ef­fects of ag­ing. Within the com­pany there are also spe­cial­ists in the pro­duc­tion of beard, side­burns and in­cred­i­bly life­like mus­taches. There are count­less col­lab­o­ra­tions of the Roc­chetti com­pany with the world of cin­ema, tele­vi­sion and the­ater. Among the many we might re­mem­ber the wig of Cetto La Qualunque in the com­edy “Qualun­que­mente” or that of “Marie An­toinette” by Sofia Cop­pola. Roc­chetti wigs were in­volved in the tricks and spe­cial ef­fects for great movie masters such as Giuseppe Tor­na­tore in “Cin­ema Par­adiso” or “The Last Temp­ta­tion of Christ” by Martin Scors­ese. Among the many mas­ter­pieces, for Bruce Beres­ford’s “Driv­ing Miss Daisy”, the Os­car was awarded to the com­pany for Best Makeup.

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